• Dave Douglas Quintet: Live At The Village Vanguard

    December 9, 2009. Posted by WBGO.

    Dave Douglas Quintet. (Image Credit: John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com)

    It's one thing to say that Dave Douglas is prolific. In the last 10 years, the prominent trumpeter and composer has released at least 15 proper albums under his own name — two this past year — while following muses as far-flung as Balkan music, Lester Bowie, silent films and Bjork. But beyond his restless creative energies, Douglas is truly busy. He holds high-profile teaching residencies. He directs a jazz festival every year. He tours constantly. He runs an independent record label. More and more, a leading voice on his instrument is becoming known as a public advocate for jazz and improvised music at large.

    But there was a pleasingly direct feel to Douglas' December 2009 week headlining the Village Vanguard. For one, he's back with his most popular ensemble: The Dave Douglas Quintet will perform new music, including arrangements of Douglas' first work for big band. WBGO and NPR Music was there for a live broadcast and video webcast of the opening set on Wednesday, Nov. 9. The recording will be made available as an MP3 podcast download here, and as a full-quality FLAC download at Greenleaf Music.

    About that big-band piece: Sections of the "Delighted States" suite appear on Douglas' newest album, A Single Sky, recorded with arranger Jim McNeely and the Frankfurt Radio Bigband. (The record also features adaptations of earlier Dave Douglas quintet pieces for large ensemble.) Here, though, the quintet alone went at these compositions ("The Presidents" and "Blockbuster"), plus other compositions — music that's "somewhat freer, but also more intricate rhythmically," Douglas writes. A group of world-beating artists it was, too: gripping soloist Donny McCaslin on tenor saxophone, rock solid James Genus on bass, restlessly creative Clarence Penn on drums and Live at the Village Vanguard alum Uri Caine on a brilliant acoustic piano — a switch from Fender Rhodes, his customary axe with this band. Douglas, too, displayed why he became such a prominent trumpeter in modern jazz.

    It's not often that Dave Douglas isn't top or co-billing on a project, but two of his most important early bandleaders were Horace Silver and John Zorn, which lends some insight into Douglas' range of stylistic interests. Since the early '90s, he's led multiple ensembles in myriad different aesthetic directions. And, of course, he's also taken on more responsibilities in the intervening years: starting Greenleaf Music, directing the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, curating the Festival of New Trumpet Music and so forth.

    It's also coming up on 10 years of the Dave Douglas quintet, in one form or another. In returning to the Village Vanguard, he brought a beloved band back to its New York home base after time honing new material in Europe.

    Set List

    • "Handwritten Letter"
    • "Bridge To Nowhere"
    • "The Law Of Historic Memory"
    • "The Presidents"
    • "Variable Current"
    • "Blockbuster"
    • "War Room"


    • Dave Douglas, trumpet
    • Donny McCaslin, tenor saxophone
    • Uri Caine, acoustic piano
    • James Genus, bass
    • Clarence Penn, drums


    • Josh Jackson, producer and host
    • David Tallacksen, mix engineer
    • Josh Webb, recording assistant
  • Sat nite @ NJPAC - Branford & Maria

    December 6, 2009. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    NJPAC outdid itself, presenting the Branford Marsalis Quartet and Maria Schneider Orchestra on Saturday night. Branford is the classicist and Maria the colorist, and the third star is the concert hall, Prudential Hall. Read more

  • Connect to WBGO online and connect to a world of jazz!

    December 4, 2009. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    Vote for WBGO (Newark Public Radio)

    Do you have a Facebook account? If so, you can become a fan of WBGO on Facebook and get updates on events, news, contests and more. If not, signing up on Facebook is quick, easy and free! And once you’re logged on you can find us here.

    The WBGO Facebook community is already over 2,200 strong. Once you “become a fan,” you can see updates from your favorite shows like Jazz Set, The Checkout, WBGO Journal and more. Plus, you’ll be among the first to know about contests and events like Monday Nights with WBGO at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and Live at the Village Vanguard. And you can connect with other fans and share information by posting messages to the WBGO wall, making the WBGO Facebook fan page a great source for jazz information.

    From now until December 11, 2009, you can vote for Newark Public Radio (WBGO Jazz88) to help WBGO win a grant from the nationwide Chase Community Giving challenge! Charities and non-profits like WBGO who receive the most votes on Facebook are eligible to receive from $25,000 to $1 million dollars in Chase corporate philanthropy! Once you have logged in to Facebook, you will need to accept the Chase Community Giving application, which is again quick, easy and no cost. But we need your vote to be in the running, so click here to learn more. If the link doesn’t take you right to Newark Public Radio, you can simply enter “Newark Public Radio” into the search box to get to our page from the Chase grant competition page.